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Sunday, July 14, 2024 - 03:11 AM


First Published in 1994


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Garry Smith, Affiliated Professor of Political Science at North Greenville University and former South Carolina House of Representatives member, was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster in November. The recognition is the highest honor a civilian can receive in the state of South Carolina.   

“For over 20 years, Garry Smith brought strong leadership and a steady hand to the General Assembly,” said Gov. McMaster. "His work not only made a tremendous impact on those in his district but for all of South Carolina. For this, and his many other contributions to our state, it was my honor to award him the Order of the Palmetto." 

Smith represented District 27 in the South Carolina House of Representatives for more than 20 years. During his tenure, he served in varied roles, including chair of the South Carolina House Operations Committee, board member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), chair of the Communications and Technology ALEC Taskforce, chair of the Greenville County Legislative Delegation, and member of the South Carolina Ways and Means Committee, where he served as chair of the Property Tax subcommittee.  

“I’m honored to be recognized for service that I’ve given, not only in the General Assembly for 20 years as a representative of Greenville County in the South Carolina House of Representatives, but also for my soon-to-be 40 years in local government,” Smith said, “It’s something that I’m quite proud of and points to the things I’ve done in the community.” 

Created in 1971 by South Carolina Governor John West, the Order of the Palmetto recognizes lifetime achievements and service by South Carolina residents. 

“I love working with and for people. To have the opportunity to serve and give back to the community as part of your service, it’s really very rewarding,” Smith said. “I thank God for the opportunities he’s given me to take and share my life experiences from the local and state Government and pass them along to students and constituents that I have served.” 

Smith has been recognized with the Legislator of the Year Award from South Carolina Habitat for Humanity, the Thomas Jefferson Legislator of the Year Award from the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the Terry Haskins Award from the Greenville County GOP. 

About North Greenville University 

NGU offers more than 125 areas of study across certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and early college opportunities. Online. In-person. At our main campus in Tigerville, SC, the Tim Brashier Campus in Greer, SC, or several educational centers around the U.S. One university, many locations. Every day. Epic. Learn more